Two members of Governor Steve Bullock and Lieutenant Governor Mike Cooney’s staffs have tested positive for COVID 19, however neither Bullock nor Cooney have tested positive for the virus.

Bullock made the announcement at a press conference in Helena on Thursday.

“We have six staff members in total impacted who are in quarantine or isolation,” said Bullock. “Two of whom are positive and four of whom have tested negative. All six staff will stay under quarantine or isolation if positive for the recommended fourteen day period. We have and continue to take this virus seriously in the Governor’s office. Masks are a requirement four staff and for visitors.”

Bullock emphasized that neither he nor Cooney are considered at risk.

“While neither Lt. Governor Cooney nor I are considered close contacts, we will continue to get tested regularly over the next few days and closely monitor for any symptoms,” he said. “While certainly it’s not ideal that a staff member tested positive, it’s a reminder that we all must continue to take this virus very seriously.”

Before all this started back in March, I was a firm believer in not wearing a mask and I wound up calling this thing Shamdemic,” said Herrera. “You know it's going to go away after the election’s over, right?  Listen, this virus does not care who you are, doesn't care what color you are, it doesn't care if you're clean, dirty or whatever. If you're going to get sick, it's going to get you.

Bullock also announced help on the way for rural hospitals that are critically in need of extra staff.

“I also announced yesterday that we’ve secured five teams, with fiver nurses on each team from the U.S. Department of Public Health and Human Services requested to assist us for 30 days with filling in the gap of the healthcare worker shortage in rural areas,” he said. “Three of the five teams will arrive by mid next week and will be stationed along the Highline in eastern Montana to serve in critical access hospitals that may be experiencing staffing shortages. The following two teams will arrive after they finish their response to hurricane Zeta. The state’s emergency coordination center will take the lead on operations.”

Bullock also introduced Gilbert Herrera from Butte, a recent COVID 19 patient who has recovered, but now faces a lifetime of medical complications.

“Before all this started back in March, I was a firm believer in not wearing a mask and I wound up calling this thing Shamdemic,” said Herrera. “You know it's going to go away after the election’s over, right?  Listen, this virus does not care who you are, doesn't care what color you are, it doesn't care if you're clean, dirty or whatever. If you're going to get sick, it's going to get you. Now, I'm a firm believer in wearing the mask because I just don't want to see anybody else go through what we had to deal with.”